Ivorian women move to fill gender gap ahead 2020 elections

2020 should be the year of equality between men and women in elected assemblies

Women groups in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan are not giving room to chance as they prepare ahead of the next general election in 2020. With over a year to go, they are regrouping to ensure that they gain a huge share of political positions, long dominated by men.

“2020 should be the year of equality between men and women in elected assemblies”, said Rachel Gogoua, a women rights activist, at a training session in Abidjan during the week.  She asked women at the training “to acquire a real transformative power” on how to change politics in Côte d’Ivoire.

Rachel Gogoua, President of the Group of Women’s Organizations
for Equality (GOFEHF)after a training session for aspiring women politicians in
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire/APANEWS.NET

Gogoua is president of the Group of Women’s Organizations for Gender Equality (GOFEHF), one of many groups addressing the deficit in women at the highest level of governance in Côte d’Ivoire.

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At the training are 22 women who are opinion leaders, in what is meant to be a train-the-trainer event, in partnership with Regard de femmes, a French NGO. They will be in charge of training women aspirants and candidates after the exercise.

The Ivorian government currently has 7 women out of 41 ministers or 17.07%; 29 women out of 255 deputies or 11.37%; 8 women out of 66 senators or 12.12%; 15 women out of 200 mayors or 7.5%, and only one woman president of regional council out of 31 regions or 3.33%.

To reduce the deficit, the group said the training aims to enhance women’s participation in elections, to provide them with enthusiasm and learn about the electoral system, public speaking, resource mobilization and self-confidence.

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Women, Family and Human Rights minister, Ramata Ly-Bakayoko, while assuring the women trainees of government’s intervention to create more opportunities, commended the group “for strengthening the political rights of women.”

The minister said it was in fulfilment of its pledge to promote more women in government that a decision was taken last March in the Council of Ministers to increase by 30% the number of women candidates for all elections in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sidiki Diakité, Minister of Interior and Security, who was at the training to provide support to the group also renewed President Alassane Ouattara’s commitment to the promotion of gender and women in governance.

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Seventeen networks and women’s organizations make up the GOFEHF, making it a major voice for women in the country.

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